The Life Solution Center of Darien came to me one morning during a particularly harrowing commute to the office. I believe that good comes out of almost every circumstance if we’re open to it, and that stressful commute reminded me of this phenomenon. I can’t deny, however, that a morning cup of coffee assisted in the creative process!
The Background: Over the past 23 years, I’ve observed that we all feel alone during difficult times. Neither income bracket, career success, physical prowess nor good looks minimize this sense of isolation. Unique conditions exist today, which exacerbate our loneliness:
* The Internet brings people together through written communication, but isolates them in real time. Many people work independently today, and form business relationships with folks they’ve never met in person. This is a perfect example of high tech resulting in a loss of high touch.
* These difficult economic times bring out our worst fears about our financial survival. It’s true that money isn’t everything, until you are faced with the prospect of not having any.
It’s also been my observation that making that first phone call for help can seem like an insurmountable effort. Most of us feel weak and powerless when we finally must admit that our usual problem-solving abilities are failing us. Picking up the phone and asking for help is a true exercise in courage. After an initial visit to my office, however, most people feel relieved about taking that first step, and sense that they now have a partner to help them resolve their difficulties.
The Problem: I constantly tell my clients, “Therapy doesn’t happen only in my office.” In other words, action steps must be taken to augment the Psychotherapeutic process. In addition to talking about their problems, people may need to contact a financial or legal expert, or begin a regimen of healthy eating and exercise. They may need to get appropriate help for their spouse or children. Maybe they need to get a handle on the chaos at home or at work, or find a great professional to help them launch a job campaign. And what if their confidence needs a boost on the outside as well as on the inside? Appearance isn’t everything, but feeling better about how we look can give us the confidence and momentum to make other necessary life changes.
It’s hard enough to make one phone call for professional help, but if we need to make a second, it can feel paralyzing. So how can I make it easier for my clients to take a step beyond working with me?
The Solution: It was on that morning commute that the answer came to me—Why not gather under one roof accomplished professionals I’ve known for years, and provide the most frequently-needed support services for my clients? Whoever said that a Psychotherapist and Executive Coach can’t work alongside an Attorney, a Professional Organizer, a Nutritionist or Holistic Health Counselor, a Financial Expert, an Editorial or Public Relations Expert, or a Wardrobe or an Image Consultant, as well as other Therapists or Nurse Practitioners?
And so, The Life Solution Center of Darien came into being. The professionals joining me at the Center are each highly trained in their areas of expertise. Most importantly, however, they practice their work from the heart. From the moment you make a first appointment with any one at the Center, my hope is that you’ll feel as though you’re no longer alone. We strive to serve as a collaborative network that will make your life the best it can be.
At The Life Solution Center of Darien, we also will provide many opportunities for Education and Prevention. There will be classes and presentations on a wide variety of topics such as managing your finances, effective parenting, polishing interviewing skills, writing a winning college essay, or demystifying the divorce process.
We intend that you will feel supported as soon as you walk into our offices, and are greeted by our Business Manager, Rick LaBella, or see the works of Exhibiting Artist Susan Crawford, Photographer Alyssa Crawford, and Architectural Woodworker Steve Purcell, that grace our office suite. Please feel free to call us or stop by during business hours with questions or concerns. We are excited to have you experience The Life Solution Center of Darien.
MAUD PURCELL, MSW, LCSW, CEAP, is a skilled and seasoned Psychotherapist. Her approach is short-term and solution-focused. She recognizes that most dilemmas have straightforward, common-sense solutions. Maud weaves a unique blend of warmth and humor into her work.
Maud is also a trained Coach and Corporate Consultant. She has worked with numerous corporations including Hewlett-Packard, Duracell, James River and Times Mirror, Inc. Maud has coached individuals from almost every walk of life, and was quoted in the Wall Street Journal for her work with officers returning from Iraq (9/16/03).
Maud has written a weekly column for the medical web-site drkoop.com. She has made repeat appearances on the Discovery Health Channel with award-winning new anchor Juju Chang, and with News Channel 12 in Connecticut. She is frequently interviewed by the media (both nationally and internationally) about relationships, family, career and work-life balance. She has participated in an Expert Roundtable for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.
Maud works with emergency service personnel including police, fire and medical professionals. Her training and experience in both Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) make her an invaluable resource following traumatic incidents.
Currently Maud writes a column for The Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, CT Post, and Danbury News-Times Newspapers. Most recently she has begun writing for the Women’s Conference website, www.womensconference.org, created by First Lady of California Maria Shriver. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Trinity College (Hartford, CT). She completed her graduate studies at the University of South Carolina (Summa cum Laude), where she was selected Outstanding Micro Practice Student and was inducted into Alpha Delta Mu, the National Honor Society for her discipline.
Renee is an experienced litigator who has been practicing law in Connecticut for 18 years. She has appeared in courts throughout the state, including Federal District Court, and has testified before the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut Senate. Renee has been published in the Connecticut Bar Journal, and has given presentations regarding various legal issues in a variety of forums.
Renee focuses her practice on matters involving creditors' rights, collection issues and commercial disputes, but is comfortable providing services for other litigation needs. For example, she has litigated matters involving personal injury, workers compensation, health insurance, child abuse and neglect, and advocacy for victims of sexual assault. Additionally, Renee is adept at mediating legal matters to help parties reach a decisive and satisfying agreement outside of the courtroom.
Susan's artwork is immediately recognizable by its dramatic color and detail. Enhancing her imaginative and intriguing creations, she incorporates three-dimensional elements and multiple planes, resulting in works of art that break free from convention and traditional picture-making. Drawing inspiration from travel and living in diverse locations, Susan often describes her work as being inspired by, and loosely based upon the real world, which she interprets through her own vision and voice.
Susan graduated from the University of Montana, and has completed post-graduate study in painting and art history at the University of Hawaii and Manhattanville College. Additionally, she trained at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and served as a docent in the Children's Art Education Program at the Academy. A former member of the Stamford Loft Artist Association, Susan's studio is now part of the Wilson Avenue Loft Artist Association. Susan has also created award-winning sculptures and large-scale animated pieces. Her work has shown in Honolulu and Kailua, Hawaii, Montana and Connecticut.
The Life Solution Center of Darien is delighted to have Susan's rotating exhibit grace its walls.
Jack founded Foster Communications in 1997, following a successful career in journalism, editing, publishing, public relations and education. Foster Communications provides clients multi-dimensional and varied services, including writing, proofreading, editing, public relations and marketing. The firm handles projects both large and small, from writing and editing business and personal letters, resumes, brochures, RFPs and proposals, speeches and toasts, to books and dissertations, through many-pronged public relations and marketing campaigns.
Jack is an expert on plagiarism, and blends his love of history into informative writing workshops on avoiding the pitfalls of plagiarism in school papers and professional works. Jack is a seasoned wordsmith, and uses his knowledge in another popular course, ìE-mail Writing: Emphasis on Writing.î Again, he tailors this workshop to attract both students and adults. A third workshop, ìYou're Never Too Old for FB,î reveals the secrets for staying relevant on social media sites without being narcissistic, shocking, irritating or just plain boring. He is bringing these workshops to the Life Solution Center.
Jack earned a B.A. in journalism from St. Bonaventure University and an M.S. in communications from Boston University.
Lisa provides counseling for individuals, couples and adolescents. She firmly believes in the power of individuals to successfully navigate the challenges life throws at them, and works collaboratively with clients to deal with those obstacles. Additionally, she teaches the Parent Education Program courses (required by the State of Connecticut for divorcing parents of children younger than 18) on the effects of divorce on children. She also works as a divorce mediator for parents experiencing conflict because of their parenting differences.
Lisa received a B.S. degree in linguistics from Georgetown University and an MSW degree from Fordham University.
Kate is a nutritionist specializing in whole foods and vitamins for optimal health and wellness. She received a master's degree in nutrition and exercise physiology from Columbia University's Teachers College. Her passion is counseling and educating clients while creating individualized plans based on each client's needs, desires and personal goals.
In addition to private counseling, Kate acts as a Nutrition Education Consultant for the City of New York and conducts Cooking demonstrations and nutrition education sessions at farmers' markets in low-income neighborhoods.
She is acting director of Nutrition for Pegasus Wellness Program, where she coordinates a group of national dietitians and develops nutrition education programs and workshops as preventative care measures in schools, corporate settings, for veterans and for elite athletes.
Wally is managing director of Greenefields Talent Advisors LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to senior talent acquisition, business strategy development, and executive career counseling. Prior to Greenefields, he was vice president, Global Client Strategy for Korn/Ferry International, the world's largest retained executive search firm, based in their Newa York City office. Wally directed and supported development of major managed account relationships across Korn/Ferry's markets, product lines and geographies. He also was a client partner and member of the Global Consumer Market with primary clients in advertising and marketing services networks. He has conducted more than 100 engagements. He possesses full-cycle recruiting experience and has keen assessment capabilities, particularly in defining candidate culture fit and match against company business strategy.
Prior to entering the executive search professions, Wally held a marketing and sales role with travel marketer Publishers Video Group, Inc., and senior advertising sales positions in publishing with companies including the Hearst Corporation, Conde Nast and I-III (now PRIMEDIA), representing well-known titles such as Gourmet, House & Garden and Atlantic Monthly.
He earned his bachelor's degree in English and French from Washington & Jefferson College.
Rick joins the Life Solution Center as Business Manager, after a 30-year career as a Darien Police Officer. He recently retired from the Darien force as a Sergeant and Supervisor of the Records Division, where he oversaw all records, billing, payroll, annual budgeting, computer systems, and human resource functions for the department. Rick has been the departmental contact for the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, the Sexual Assault Crisis Center, the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, The Alzheimer's Association, and Social Services.
He is certified as an EMT, an Emergency Medical Dispatcher, and a Physical Fitness Specialist. Rick received associates degrees from Norwalk Community College and Middlesex Community College, and a master's degree in criminal justice from Iona College.
Christine is a psychotherapist whose 17 years as a clinician have been spent helping children, adolescents and adults of all ages deal with complex life circumstances. She believes that there is hope in all situations, and that each of us is a work in progress. Further, she contends that parents play an important role in their children's lives, and are an essential part of the therapeutic process. Christine uses play therapy in working with young children, providing them a safe and therapeutic environment to explore the necessary and sensitive topics that are interfering with their healthy development. When working with adolescents, adults and families she utilizes a cognitive behavioral approach.
Christine has worked in the public school system, and is both a Certified School Social Worker and a Certified School Administrator. She has headed several special education programs and coordinated multiple services. She is a strong advocate for children and an invaluable resource for parents experiencing difficulty in getting their child's educational needs met in the school setting.
Christine holds a master's degree in social work, and a sixth-year degree in educational leadership. She is a member of the Association for Play Therapy, and a member of the National Association of Social Workers.
Jeffry holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree as well as a Master's Degree in Social Work. He is a certified school social worker. He has worked with families that struggle with a wide variety of issues.
As a Chiropractor Jeffry worked with children and families to help educate them about their health and spoke confidentially about their concerns. He has spent many years assisting children and families. He has experience working both individually and in small groups with adolescents as well as adults. This work includes special education, emotional disturbances and family dynamics.
Jeffry holds the strong belief that with the right approach and proper support, change and healing are not only possible, but probable. He is a member of the Association for Play Therapy and a member of the National Association of Social Workers.
Cecilia founded Home Management Solutions in 2008 following a successful career in international corporate law. Her work experience includes positions as chief financial officer/chief operating officer at Rock Crest Capital LLC; senior counsel at PanAmSat Corporation, and senior associate at Chadbourne & Parke LLP.
She sought opportunities to develop systems and to standardize the operating practices needed to build a company from the ground up. Cecilia launched Home Management Solutions so she could use her corporate organizing talents to assist people on an individual basis.
Cecilia has extensive knowledge of Quicken, Quickbooks Pro, Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint, Outlook and Entourage and works with both Macs and PCs. Sample services include: financial organizing, budgeting, online pay systems installed and organized; mail, e-mail and document management, estate organization and management; organization of medical insurance forms and claims.
Cecilia holds a B.A. degree in government and Latin American studies from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.
On her passion for personal health and wellness, while working to stay healthy in a demanding corporate career, Heather pursued formal training on how to live a better style. She graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the only nutrition school dedicated to integrating different dietary theories, combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies such as Ayurveda and Macrobiotics,with modern concepts such as the Blood-Type Diet, the glycemic index, the Zone and the French Paradox.
As a Holistic Health Counselor, certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Heather examines how all areas of our lives are connected, and how these aspects synergistically affect our health and well being. Her counseling specialty is working with busy professionals to find more balance in their lives through nutrition, exercise and self-care.
She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in accounting from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Steve is considered equally gifted as an artisan and an artist. He is known for designing and building stunning and complicated pieces, from estate gates, gazebos and horseback riding arenas, to finely crafted furniture. He is passionate about the work he does on yacht interiors.
Steve listens closely to the needs of his clients and carefully considers how to turn their desires into creations that mesh with their lifestyles and tastes. His extensive client list includes entertainment and sports celebrities, CEOs of major corporations, and a number of academy-winning actors, producers and. musicians. The Life Solution Center is delighted to have some of his pieces gracing its offices.
Ralph became a lawyer after a 26-year career in law enforcement with the Stamford, CT, Police Department. He spent 10 years in the detective division's Major Crime Squad, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, where he managed local, federal and international cases. He played an integral role in several notorious criminal cases, some of which led to landmark court decisions and interpretations of Connecticut's Kidnapping and Parental Interference Statues and the use of the Federal Death Penalty Statute.
Ralph developed and implemented the Stamford PD's Community Policing Task Force Initiative in one of the city's highest-crime neighborhoods, creating a strong alliance between law enforcement and the community that resulted in a substantial reduction in crime. Additionally, he played a key role in a collaborative program between law enforcement and The Child Guidance Center, a program designed after Yale University's model for City Police Departments. He assisted underprivileged families obtain much-needed mental health services, and also helped parents and children with issues ranging from severe trauma to truancy.
His practice focuses on criminal defense law and family law, including divorce, child custody, child support and domestic relations issues. He has been interviewed by CBS News, CNN and the Heritage Foundation. Ralph received a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law.
Jackie is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and a Board Certified Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist with more than 30 years experience in the practice of psychotherapy, medication consultation and treatment. Her academic credentials include a Master of Science in Nursing from Yale University School of Nursing. From 1988 to 1995 she was the psychiatric liaison clinical nurse specialist at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, where she consulted with staff and patients in relationship to one's emotional, behavioral and cognitive responses to physical illness. She has been in private practice for the last 16 years, providing clients psychotherapy and medication consultation and treatment. Jacqueline uses DNA-guided psychotropic drug management to optimize her clients' response to medication. In addition, she collaborates with psychotherapists to provide their clients medication evaluation and medication treatment. Jackie has a special interest in working with overweight clients as related to their mood disorders.
Mary Ann is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and a Board Certified Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, offering individual, couples and group psychotherapy. Mary Ann also provides medication management and consultation for patients with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression, and anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, phobias and generalized anxiety. Mary Ann uses DNA-Guided psychotropic drug management to optimize her clients' response to medication.
She earned an M.S. in nursing from Yale University in 1984, and has clinical instructor and lecturer positions at both Yale University and Southern Connecticut State University Schools of Nursing. Her experience spans more than 20 years in public and private settings that includes maintaining a private practice for the past 15 years. She recently retired from the West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center where she assisted in clinical research for bipolar disorder as well provided psychopharmacological therapy for a variety of psychiatric diagnoses.
Victoria is a financial analyst specializing in the economics of divorce. Prior to joining the Life Solutions Center, she worked for more than 20 years on Wall Street focusing on quantitative financial analysis. Most recently, Victoria was a director in the equity derivatives department of Deutsche Bank, supporting the program trading desk. Prior to that, she was a vice president at Morgan Stanley, and worked in the mortgage finance, municipal finance and equity derivative departments. She has extensive experience in quantitative financial analysis and computer programming. Victoria has gone through a divorce herself, and understands first-hand the emotional and financial stress of this life-altering phenomenon. She brings a unique combination of professional and personal experience to the Life Solutions Center.
She holds a B.S. degree in applied mathematics from Brown University, and is currently pursuing a M.S. degree in mathematics from Fairfield University.
Laura is a Psychotherapist who practices at The Life Solution Center of Darien. She is committed to helping patients find their own unique approach for coping with life's challenges. Laura enjoys working with adults, teens, families and couples.
Previously, Laura employed her helping skills in the business world through a variety of Human Resources positions including Vice President of Human Resources for Bread and Circus Inc., and as Director of Corporate Training for Jordan Marsh & Company.
More recently, van Riper was a clinical social worker for the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, where she provided evidence-based psychotherapy for children and families of diverse cultures who faced a wide range of mental health challenges. Laura holds a Masters Degree in Advanced Clinical Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Boston College.
While her twin teenage sons were young, Laura served the Community Fund of Darien for seven years, including stints as Vice President and President. She was the first program director for the YWCA of Darien-Norwalk Parent Awareness Program, where she promoted the healthy, positive development of children and teens by providing programs and services for parents and children.
Laura has also served the lower Fairfield County community through her work with the Board of Trustees of The Children's School of Stamford, Communities in Action, and the Darien League of Women Voters. Business and community leaders have consistently recognized her exceptional communication, organizational, conflict resolution, and motivational skills.
Leon Krolikowski received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Connecticut, followed by a cum laude law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law. After law school, he was admitted to practice in the States of Connecticut, New York and the Federal District of Connecticut. He started his own practice after being admitted to the Connecticut Bar. His practice is focused on all areas of civil litigation and law.
Leon has experience in all courts within Connecticut and has successfully litigated and settled many matters. As an experienced attorney, Leon will defend your rights, protect your future, secure your assets and make the legal process as clear as possible for you. He will take the time to explain precisely what he can do for you, what the legal process involves, and what it will cost.
Erica Jensen, owner, Suzanne Griffin, manager, and Cynthia Rusk, buyer, comprise the Style Solutions team in Darien, Connecticut. The three are professional wardrobe and style consultants, each of whom has assisted clients in determining the most flattering looks for a variety of occasions. The team will assist clients to put together new looks using already owned pieces as well as assisting in determining what is worth keeping and updating or how to “move on” to new look.